Improving Solvent Recovery

Improving Solvent Recovery

Extracting cannabis oil can be time- and energy-intensive due to chillers requiring large amounts of electricity and solvent recovery machines using a lot of power. With the cannabis industry rapidly expanding, disruptive companies such as Ecodyst are impacting cannabis labs and revolutionizing solvent recovery.

Beginning as a modern alternative to a process established over decades, cannabis oil extraction is now a burgeoning business, and Ecodyst is offering cannabis extraction labs the tools they need to accelerate cannabis oil extraction with efficient methods that are free from the hazards of the past.

What cannabis chemists need to run an extraction lab is fairly universal. Typical items include glassware and safety gear, along with rotary evaporators also known as rotovaps. These machines are used in solvent recovery, which is a key process in producing refined cannabis oils and distillates that are free of solvents such as ethanol.

Over the past 60 years, cannabis chemists have had to use rotovaps and chillers that use large amounts of resources and effort to heat and cool. Although technology progressed during those 60 years, the solvent recovery process has not benefitted from these advances. The environmentally-conscious labs of today need more from their instrumentation.

It was this gap in progress that first inspired George Adjabeng, the founder of Ecodyst, to create the innovative technology needed to keep up with technological progression and reduce waste.

I thought technology and sustainability should be improved so scientists can focus on more complex tasksTraditional rotary evaporator models need near endless supplies of dry ice, running water, or thermal fluid to maintain cold temperatures. The cannabis industry has a lot of participants that are eager to practice less wasteful solvent recovery methods as a standard, and there are many different ways Ecodyst can help.

George Adjabeng, Founder, Ecodyst

Dry ice, water, and bulky thermal fluid chillers are no longer needed with the Ecodyst EcoChyll line of rotary evaporators. By using direct self-cooling technology and improving the efficiency of the traditional solvent recovery process, scientists and lab techs are now able to focus solely on the products they make, rather than how they have to make them.

Improving Solvent Recovery

Ecodyst Solutions in Cannabis Chemistry

Ecodyst found its place in the ever-expanding cannabis extraction industry after beginning its journey in pharmaceutical and university labs. Adjabeng explained:

“We learned the EcoChyll was already being used in cannabis labs, so we went to a cannabis business tradeshow to learn more about the market and their needs. The first thing that became clear was the need for more sustainable industrial-scale rotary evaporators, as we saw solvent recovery was a major bottleneck in cannabis extraction.”

Certain elements of the EcoChyll design were already perfect for cannabis extraction applications. Risk is minimized with the drain valve, which eliminates the need to disassemble and handle hot and heavy flasks, a factor that greatly interested small cannabis labs operating with skeleton crews.

Adjabeng and co-founder Kwabena Williams expanded the line of EcoChyll X7s in order to provide for larger cannabis extraction labs that needed to fulfill the industry’s growing solvent recovery needs. This move came after discovering that traditional rotary evaporator companies were advertizing 20-liter rotovaps that only sported a 10-liter actual capacity as large-scale solvent recovery systems.

On this development, Adjabeng said,

“We introduced the medium-sized 22-liter evaporator, which has almost the same maximum volume as a traditional 50-liter rotovap. We then decided to push further on behalf of the cannabis industry to provide cannabis extractors with more options.

“These are great, energy-saving rotovap options for all extraction labs, whether they use ethanol or CO2, the EcoChyll X7 100-Liter turnkey uses about the same 10 kW of energy as a traditional 20-liter rotovap. We have also significantly increased the rate of recovery, recovering more liters per hour from every extraction.”

Improving Solvent Recovery

Scaling for the Growing Cannabis Industry

As the cannabis industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, particularly in industrial hemp processing for CBD extracts, the Ecodyst team knows there is a place for even larger solvent recovery systems. As a result, their team has launched the super-large industrial-sized 200-liter EcoChyll X9, catering to an array of cannabis extraction needs, but is particularly beneficial for hemp processors.

By choosing an EcoChyll X9 200-Liter, hemp processors can avoid the high energy consumption, heat output, and operating costs associated with other evaporation systems such as falling film evaporators. Equipment that rivals falling film evaporators are already featured on the list of launches Ecodyst is planning for later this year.

Before those launches, however, Ecodyst’s cannabis customers have been quick to show the Ecodyst founders how their technology can be used in resourceful and unexpected ways. Some have carried out work such as short path distillation and decarboxylation directly inside their EcoChyll units.

If we hadn’t been engaged with the cannabis community, there’s no telling how long it would have taken us to find out about decarbing right in the machineOur cannabis customers are challenging how we think about our own technology and pushing us to develop new solutions for them.

Kwabena Williams, Co-Founder, Ecodyst

Improving Solvent Recovery

Sharing the Power of Science

These instances of discovery and learning are just one example of how important customer engagement is to Ecodyst. Even with a growing company, the Ecodyst founders still install the equipment and train users themselves, offering new cannabis industry customers concrete expertise in how to get the most out of their new tools.

The visits have become part of their unique brand experience, along with their focus on good customer service.

Ecodyst offers custom solutions to help solve customers’ unique problems. Sometimes it’s a custom glass component, and sometimes it’s in the set-up of the machine itself. George and Kwabena interact directly with the customers because they know the machinery the best, and they have the knowledge to identify where our partners can make changes in the technology that can really help. 

Trevor White, Customer Service and Sales Manager, Ecodyst

Ecodyst’s Eco-Friendly Future

With growing numbers of companies working to find the best methods of extracting cannabis distillates or isolates, Ecodyst is devoted to making scientists’ work more efficient, allowing them to concentrate on the principles of their work, not the process by which it happens.

The EcoChyll is ready to fit into any lab and start helping cannabis extractors with both CO2 and ethanol extraction.

Sources and Further Reading

https://www.leafly.com/news/industry/labs-improving-solvent-recovery-ecodyst

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Ecodyst.

For more information on this source, please visit Ecodyst.

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